Fraud protection: Where to spend and where to save
As we move into the latter stages of the pandemic, millions of Americans are making the adjustment back to a degree of pre-pandemic normality. Whilst this is bound to be great news for the finances of the majority of small business in the US the return to normalcy comes with a warning; don’t be naïve to fraud.
The Coronavirus has mutated and evolved over the past 18 months and so have Americans hundreds of thousands of fraudsters. In this article we take a look at some of the areas of your business that need investment to ward off the threat of fraud.
If you’re still pinching the pennies after the pandemic though, don’t worry, we’ll also be looking at some areas where you can roll back spending.
Where to spend
Processes: The vast majority of small businesses in the US are still using 20th century technology to track their spending and pay their staff. This is great news for fraudsters who love nothing more than taking advantage of outdated processes to scam business owners.
If you’re still writing out payslips by hand or using outdated methods to store employees payment details take a look at the Intuit’s great discounts. There’s something there to help every small business modernise.
Online security: 1 in 4 Americans regularly shop online each month and that figure is increasing all the time. If your business is not online you’re missing out on a lucrative revenue stream. If you are online, don’t scrimp on your cyber security.
It’s worth outsourcing this to a reputable company so that they can take care of your backups, your sensitive personal data and the sensitive personal data of your clients.
Audits: It pays to have a plan. When it comes to fraud every business should draw up a thorough audit of their processes, identifying areas in which they are susceptible to fraud and also identifying those likely to defraud them whether that be customers or staff members.
If you have the money it could be worth paying a third-party to come in with fresh eyes and do this for you. If not, spend the most valuable commodity you have – time – on completing your own fraud audit.
Where to save
Telephone services: One of the most common types of fraud and mischievously difficult to spot is premium telephone fraud. This traditionally takes the form of a fraudster leaving a missed call on your work number.
When you ring back you are inadvertently connecting to a premium rate number that can cost you a lot of money. To save money from this scam contact your phone provider and ask them to block all premium number calls from your work phones.
Internet services: Similar to telephone fraud, internet fraud is hard to spot and can wind up costing your business a lot of money. If you have an IT department think about blocking certain websites on your work computers.
If not speak to your internet provider and see if they can help. It might be worth blocking sites too that require a high amount of bandwidth that employees could inadvertently be using whilst working and costing you a pretty penny.
Research: The best way to avoid fraud is by keeping up to date with the latest scams and tricks that criminals are using. To do this you don’t need to pay an advisor or ask for help from an organisation, all you need to do is read.
Spend half an hour a month keeping up to date with the latest scams and frauds listed on the USA Government website. Knowledge is power and in this scenario the power is to save yourself and your business money.